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James Scoville is of counsel in the London office of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Mr. Scoville’s practice focuses on securities matters and capital markets transactions. He advises both issuers and underwriters in U.S.-registered and global offerings, with particular experience working on listings on Nasdaq, NYSE and the LSE by emerging market and other companies, as well as representing insurance companies and underwriters in insurance company securities offerings.

Mr. Scoville is recommended in The Legal 500 UK (2024) for his insurance-related work and for his work in emerging markets. The guide has also previously described him as a “pragmatic” and “detailed-oriented” lawyer and as “a hard-working, smart and result-oriented guy,” noting “when you need a pragmatic view, he takes it.” IFLR1000 (2022) recommends Mr. Scoville for Capital Markets: Debt and M&A. His work on China Life has earned him the plaudit of “Dealmaker of the Year” from The American Lawyer.

Mr. Scoville is the author of a number of articles. Recent publications include “Breaking Down The UK's Draft Updates To Prospectus Regime,” Law360 (September, 2023); “Debevoise & Plimpton Discusses SEC Guidance on Ukraine Disclosure Obligations,” The CLS Blue Sky Blog (May, 2022); “UK Proposals to Reform Listing Rules to Attract SPACs and Technology Companies,” Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance (May, 2021); “Q&A: Bet-Mansour and Scoville on Spacs & PE,” Unquote (April, 2021); “What Growing Focus On ESG Means For Insurers,” Law360 (January, 2021); and “Business Interruption Judgement Handed Down in the UK,” ANZIIF Members’ Centre (September, 2020).

Mr. Scoville has also co-authored a number of chapters in industry handbooks. These include the UK chapter in the Insurance & Reinsurance Practice Guide, published by Chambers & Partners, the UK chapter in the Insurance & Reinsurance guide published by Lexology Getting the Deal Through, and the UK chapter in the Insurance and Reinsurance guide as part of the PLC Global Guides series.

Mr. Scoville’s recent speaking engagements include “U.S. Public Markets and the Potential Lessons They Hold for Europe,” 2017 Global Capital Markets Conference (December, 2017); “IPO Preparation and Corporate Governance,” LSEG Capital Markets Conference (July, 2017); “UK and European Insurance Regulatory Developments,” PLI Webinar (February, 2017); “Executing Capital Markets Deals Across the U.S. and Europe – Practical Pointers and Market Trends,” Sixteenth Annual Institute on Securities Regulation in Europe: Practical Implications of US Law on EU Practice (January, 2017); “EU: Solvency II and Implications for Private Investment Funds,” SAM Roundtables (October, 2016); “New Investment Opportunities in EU Bank Assets Arising from an Evolving Regulatory Landscape,” BVCA Summit – Breakfast Roundtable (October, 2016); “Taking Stock -- Brexit, and what we have learned so far,” Global Reinsurance Webinar (September, 2016); and “South Africa's New Solvency Assessment and Management (SAM) and the Impact on Investment Funds: The Experience from Solvency II,” SAM Roundtable (September, 2016).

Mr. Scoville served as Managing Partner for Debevoise’s London office from 2005 to 2013. He received his A.B. cum laude from Dartmouth in 1983 and his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 1987, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif.


  • Dartmouth College, 1983, A.B.
  • University of Chicago Law School, 1987, J.D.

Bar Admissions

  • New York